"I am Catalina, Princess of Spain, daughter of the two
greatest monarchs the world has ever known...and I will be
Queen of England."
Thus, bestselling author Philippa Gregory introduces one of
her most unforgettable heroines: Katherine of Aragon.
Daughter of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain,
Katherine has been fated her whole life to marry Prince
Arthur of England. When they meet and are married, the
match becomes as passionate as it is politically expedient.
The young lovers revel in each other's company and plan the
England they will make together. But tragically, aged only
fifteen, Arthur falls ill and extracts from his sixteen-
year-old bride a deathbed promise to marry his brother,
Henry; become Queen; and fulfill their dreams and her
"They tell me nothing but lies here and they think they
can break my spirit. I believe what I choose and say
nothing. I am not as simple as I seem."
Widowed and alone in the avaricious world of the Tudor
court, Katherine has to sidestep her father-in-law's desire
for her and convince him, and an incredulous Europe, that
her marriage to Arthur was never consummated, that there is
no obstacle to marriage with Henry. For seven years, she
endures the treachery of spies, the humiliation of poverty,
and intense loneliness and despair while she waits for the
inevitable moment when she will step into the role she has
prepared for all her life. Then, like her warrior mother,
Katherine must take to the battlefield and save England
when its old enemies the Scots come over the border and
there is no one to stand against them but the new Queen.
"It was my dying husband's hope, my mother's wish, and
God's will that I should be Queen of England; and for them
and for the country, I will be Queen of England until I
Raised on the battlefield and in the most beautiful Moorish
palace in the world, sent to England alone at the age of
sixteen to take her place in a court where she couldn't
speak the language, and abandoned and forced to endure
poverty after the death of her husband, Katherine remained
a woman of indomit-able spirit, unwavering faith, and
extraordinary strength. Philippa Gregory brings to life one
of history's most inspiring women and creates one of the
most compelling characters in historical fiction.